MAITLAND, Fla (WOFL FOX 35) - Several people were hospitalized after a boat crashed into a dock at a local lake with the homeowner discovering the boat almost completely out of the water early Tuesday morning. Authorities said the operator of the boat, 45-year-old Krystyna Vitiello, has been charged with DUI.
The incident occurred just after midnight on Tuesday at Lake Maitland, near Summerland Avenue and U.S. Highway 17-92. The dock is located behind a white house where Maitland firefighters say eight people were onboard when the boat crashed into the homeowner's dock.
The Maitland Police Department told FOX 35 that the boat is registered to Florida State Senator David Simmons, the Republican lawmaker representing Altamonte Springs. After reaching out to the senator, Simmons relayed to FOX 35 that he received a call at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning at his home. Simmons' daughter was on the boat and he says she suffered a broken leg. Alicya Simmons, 18, underwent surgery at Orlando Regional Medical Center and is expected to make a full recovery.
"I'm fortunate that she is going to be okay," Sen. Simmons said. "I'm lucky I have a lot of people who have said a lot of prayers. The outpouring of support has been fantastic."
Simmons said Vitiello is his daughter's aunt. He said he did not know his daughter and friends were at his old Maitland home and he said one of the people in the group was celebrating a birthday. Simmons was his home in Atlamonte Springs when the incident happened. Simmons said the boat is registered to a company he owns, adding that he isn't much of a boater and had only used the boat twice.
The crash remains under investigation. Emergency crews say the people were seriously hurt from the crash. Some of them had to be taken away in stretchers while others were stuck inside the boat.
"Basically we had patients stuck on the boat and they had to extricate the patients off the boat onto land," said Maitland Assistant Fire Chief Charles Van Camp. "They had to find a way to secure the boat to prevent it from falling back into the water as they were getting the patients out."
Maitland Police has taken over the investigation. According to Vitiello's arrest report, an officer could smell alcohol on her breath as he questioned her. Officers towed the pleasure boat off of Lake Maitland to an impound yard.